How to Repair a Leaking Toilet | Ask This Old House

How to Repair a Leaking Toilet | Ask This Old House

Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey explains what may be causing a leaky toilet and possible solutions. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)
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Shopping List for How to Repair a Leaking Toilet :
Wax toilet rings []
Foam seal []
Plastic seal []
Flange spacers []
Flange insert []

Tools for How to Repair a Leaking Toilet:
Wrench []

Steps for How to Repair a Leaking Toilet :
1. To diagnose a leak, check out a few places on the toilet.
2. First check out the water supply line. It’s possible there could be a loose nut or a leak on the supply hose.
3. Next check the line between the tank and the bowl. Bolts may be loose, causing the leak to appear just below the tank.
4. If the leak is most prominent on the floor around the toilet (or on the ceiling below), check the wax ring seal between the toilet and the flange.
5. If the height of the flange is too low, you may have to get a higher wax ring to compensate.
6. Alternatives to the wax ring are a foam seal or a plastic seal.
7. Other options for raising the flange: Adding flange spacers or adding a flange insert.

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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How to Repair a Leaking Toilet | Ask This Old House



John Smith says:

My toilet rocked (not in the good way) since I was little, before my mom got the whole toilet replaced for some reason (probably a salesman). Thanks for letting me know how bad that is and to do something about it! Also, my toilet is leaking, so you've armed me with more info on that too 🙂

matzpimp says:

I just did mine with a conventional seal, those wax rings are really obsolete and shouldn't be used anymore

john pershing says:

Very rarely does the tank flange leak. Usually the wax rings are bad. I suggest 2 of them. The first one needs the reinforced ring then stack a thinner one on top. I do this with brand new toilets even. The process is retrofit. Always bring them above finished floor

lostinsamsara says:

Tool time rip off set!

P p says:

Buy a new one

Fernando Rodriguez says:

Amazing amazing amazing

gabygybonu says:

Like all other videos…very informative. Thank you…again 🙂

Lhimell Igot says:

This video saved me a lot of time and money. Thank you!

David Wagner says:

What brand is the PVC one and where do you buy it?

ArcolaBridge says:

I have read reviews on these products. People say the foam Style disintegrates, stretches and fails. People say the blue colored one is very stiff and unforgiving and doesn't compress. Why isn't there a silicone variety? It seems like that would be the perfect material for the job especially if you greased it with silicone grease.

Crystal Curry says:

I need a new house. I'm tired of fixing old houses,

T N says:

Need a video for how to unclog the toilet.

Doug Campbell says:

The flange should actually be flush with finish floor to allow enough space to have enough wax seal between the
flange and the toilet bowl outlet. If it is to high all the wax will be pushed out. Also the single most important
thing when installing a toilet bowl is to silicone the rim of the bowl to the floor so the bowl won't move. Do this and your toilet will never leak at the seal.

An-T M says:

Wow wow wow wow that's awesome. You are so right. Thank .

Stephen Stuart says:

This is a God sent video.

Son Nguyen says:

Great instructional! Thank you!

Ed Bachmann says:

What if you have a PVC pipe with a now – rusted metal flange (Tyler product in a late 70's house). Can one install the expanding style that seals down in the drain (last one shown) right over the rusty metal ring? Or must you cut away the end of the PVC and glue on a new PVC flange?

اياد التميمي says:

عاشت ايدك

Fred Higgenbottom says:

Fluidmaster's Better Than Wax – Wax-Free Toilet Seal brings new technology to sealing toilets that isn't messy like wax, is forgiving if you need to reposition the toilet during installation, works for below floor and above floor flanges and fits virtually any In-Floor Drain. I used this toilet seal with success (no Leaks) and I have absolutely NO financial relationship with them.

sam kassam says:

Why does the water level in the Bowl go down when toilet is not used for couple of days?

Makinja says:

Wish he used another word in place of "de – form", since he used it at placement of the wax seal during installation, and later when the wax seal is damaged or de-formed? when pressed out of shape. Maybe it's a different type of de-form?

Charles Hettrick says:

Code states flange should be above the floor. After much testing, flange extenders & a traditional wax ring works best long term. Non-wax ring products do not work as well as well & some never work

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